Monument Mountain boys soccer program celebrates 50 years of history with ceremony

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2017. On Oct. 6, the school honored their boys soccer program before the team's game against Monson.

As part of the celebration, the school honored the four head coaches that lead the boys soccer team in the school's 50-year history. The four coaches are Tom Kinne, Howard Trombley, Mike Powell and current coach Matt Naventi.

Kinne and Trombley also helped to kick-start the youth soccer program in Great Barrington that Powell and Naventi have helped to strengthen since, teaching youth teams on Saturday mornings.

Monument Mountain Regional High School was formed in 1968 when Searles High School in Great Barrington and Williams High School in Stockbridge combined. Kinne was originally the soccer coach at Searles.

Since Kinne never played soccer growing up, during the ceremony, the school provided the 2005 Berkshire County Soccer Hall of Fame inductee with his first varsity letter.

"I had a lot of good times with them," Kinne said. "A lot of great memories. I never played soccer, but the team didn't have a coach so I decided to fill in. We started the youth programs with my sons and it was great, kids just started showing up."

Howard Trombley was hired by Monument Mountain in 1975 as a physical education teacher. The same year, Kinne was finishing up his master's program, meaning Trombley would step in as the varsity head coach. When Kinne returned, Trombley was the JV coach from 1976 to 1989.

Once Kinne moved on in 1989, Trombley spent the next three years as the varsity coach and lead the team to the Western Mass. tournament all three years. Now living in Florida, Trombley was represented by his son Brian at the ceremony.

"Having my dad as a coach was both good and bad," Brian joked. "He was a little more strict, but it was a lot of fun. I spent a lot of time following him around on the field starting in kindergarten so [this ceremony] means a lot."

In 1992, Trombley became the assistant principal of Monument Mountain, opening up the door for Mike Powell to take over as the Spartan head coach. In his 16 years of being the head coach, the Spartans made the Western Mass. tournament 14 times, including two finals appearances.

"His accolades are more than deserving of this ceremony," said Brendan Heck, who is the current assistant coach at Monument and played for Powell from 1997 to 2000. "The memories I made from playing for him are some of the fondest memories I have of high school. It wasn't the wins that made it memorable, it was playing for a man who had a goal to not just make you a better soccer play, but a better young man. He made you feel special to be part of the program."

Since Powell already had a varsity letter, the school got him a copy of the album that would play non-stop as the Spartans traveled for away games, The Cars' "Greatest Hits." According to Heck, the team couldn't find an eight-track, like the one they listened to, so they settled with the CD version.

"I coached with Mike Powell for five or six years," said Matt Naventi, Monument's current head coach. "I knew the program, but I was still nervous when I took over for him. Mike did such a great job and I didn't want the program to take a step backwards. In my first year we started 2-7 and I thought I was in way over my head, but we ended up winning nine straight games and making the tournament, so there was a quick turn around with our young group."

Before taking over in 2010, Naventi played for Lee High School. While at Lee, he was All-Berkshire and All-Western Mass., leading his team to two league titles as a junior and a senior. In college, he started his final two years at Skidmore College and was inducted into the Berkshire County Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010.

"I've been Matt's assistant coach for seven years," Heck said. "He is dedicated to this team 365 days a year. He had pretty big shoes to fill, but seamlessly continued the Monument tradition. He knows the X's and O's better than just about anyone, but he also gets the fact that building a successful high school program is more than that. He is honest, forthright, and caring."

After the ceremony, the Spartans cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Mustangs and some of the players believe the ceremony gave the team a jump-start.

"Monument soccer means a lot to it's players," said Nate Lacombe, who scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. "The Monument heart is what it is all about and it really struck home for a lot of us. It got us amped for the game. We were excited to play for monument soccer."


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